Directed By: Sunaina Bhatnagar
Produced By: Shobhna Yadav, Sandeep Leyzell
Cast: Manisha Koirala, Shreya Singh Chaudhary, Madiha Imam
Duration: 2 hours 20 minutes
‘Dear Maya’ marks Manisha Koirala‘s comeback to the big screen after a long hiatus. It could not have been a better comeback than this for her. The film is all about finding love in unexpected places and friendship.
In a quaint town of Shimla, lives Maya (Manisha Koirala), a middle-aged woman, who has locked herself inside the house for twenty long years. Her only companions are two dogs, cages filled with birds and a faithful help. The reason she has become a recluse is tied to her tragic childhood which has left a long-lasting impact on her.
Maya’s depressive lifestyle catches the attention of two best friends Anna (Madiha Imam) and Ira (Shreya Singh Chaudhary). They decide to spice up Maya’s life by sending her fictitious love letters. What they had not considered was that Maya will truly believe in those letters and set off on a voyage to find the man who loves her in secrecy. Guilt stricken Anna and Ira part ways to finally join hands six years later to search for Maya.
Has Maya found the love she craves for? Will Ira and Anna find her? Will the two ever reconcile? All these and many more questions will be answered in the Sunaina Bhatnagar directorial.
‘Dear Maya’ is a story that invests itself in human relationships. It does not have any twists to it. It is the rumbling of loneliness that ‘Dear Maya’ resonates. Though it is slow and gloomy but somewhere the audience relates to it, as each person is going through the phase of loneliness in different ways.
Manisha Koirala has given the best performance of her career in the de-glam look of Maya. She lends an air of mysticism to the initial portions of the movie, but shines the best when she rediscovers life. The newcomers, Madiha and Shreya, are convincing in their roles.
Sunaina Bhatnagar has assisted Imtiaz Ali and the maverick filmmaker’s influence is quite notable in ‘Dear Maya’. Ali’s signature style of telling a story is something Sunaina has tried to bring in, and succeeded in many cases.
Aarti Bajaj’s editing is what makes the storytelling even more apt. Anupam Roy’s music is heart-warming. Sayak Bhattacharya’s cinematography works fine.
The film has its flaws but its heart is in the right place. If you are looking for some fast paced emotional drama, then it is not your cup of tea. But do watch it for Manisha Koirala as she totally floors you with her performance.
P.S. Watch out for a surprise cameo!